Longfin Garfish, Euleptorhamphus viridis (Hasselt 1823)

Other Names: Long-beaked Garfish, Long-finned Garfish, Longfinned Halfbeak, Ribbon Halfbeak

Longfin Garfish, Euleptorhamphus viridis. Source: Ken J. Graham / NSW Fisheries. License: All rights reserved

An extremely slender garfish with a  slender, compressed ribbon-like body, and an extremely long lower jaw that may be as long as half the standard length. They are greenish-blue above, silvery below with transparent fins. 
Longfin Garfish can leap from the water and glide above the surface to evade predators, using their fins as wings. Although often mistaken for flying fishes of the family Exocoetidae, Longfin Garfish lack pelvic fins, and instead rotate their rear body by 90 degrees and use their wide dorsal and anal fins. Read more here.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Euleptorhamphus viridis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Feb 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/4487

Longfin Garfish, Euleptorhamphus viridis (Hasselt 1823)

More Info


Albany, south Western Australia, around the tropical north to about Batemans Bay, southern New South Wales; also reefs in the Coral Sea, and Elizabeth Reef and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical, temperate Indo-west Pacific.
Longfin Garfish are usually seen near the surface in the open ocean, especially around islands, although they are known to enter large bays.


Dorsal fin 21-25; Anal fin 20-25; Pectoral fin 8-9; Gill-rakers (first arch) 5-9 + 18-23 = 25-33; Vertebrae 69-75. Body very elongate; lower jaw very prolonged, length up to half SL; upper jaw short, triangular, scaled; teeth present on vomer and tongue; pectoral fins long; pelvic fins absent. 

Similar Species

Differs considerably from other Australian garfish  species in having a long compressed ribbon-like body, very long pectoral fins, and a very long lower jaw.

Species Citation

Hemiramphus viridis Hasselt 1823, Algemeene Konst- en Letter-Bode 2(35): 131. Type locality: Vizagapatam, India; Java, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Longfin Garfish, Euleptorhamphus viridis (Hasselt 1823)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.30.1976.287 PDF available, open access

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Collette, B.B. 1974. The garfishes (Hemiramphidae) of Australia and New Zealand. Records of the Australian Museum 29(2): 11-105. DOI: 0.3853/j.0067-1975.29.1974.231 PDF available open access

Collette, B.B. 1999. Family Hemiramphidae. pp. 2180-2196 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 4 pp. 2069-2790.

Collette, B.B. & Su, J.-X. 1986. The halfbeaks (Pisces, Beloniformes, Hemiramphidae) of the Far East. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 38: 250-302.

Francis, M.P. 1991. Additions to the fish faunas of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 45(2): 204-220.

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170.

Gill, T.N. 1859. Description of a third genus of Hemirhamphinae. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 11: 155-157. (as Euleptorhamphus brevoortii)

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93, 193-228 in Hutchings, P. (ed.) Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp.

Hasselt, J.C. van 1823. Uittreksel uit een' brief van de Heer J.C. van Hasselt, aan den Heer C.J. Temminck, geschreven uit Tjecande, Residentie Bantam, den 29sten December, 1822. Algemeene Konst- en Letter-Bode 2(35): 130-133.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293.

Okiyama, M. 1993. An atlas of the early stage fishes in Japan. Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany. 1154 pp.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp. 

Parin, N.V. 1964. Taxonomic status, geographic variation and distribution of the oceanic halfbeak, Euleptorhamphus viridis (van Hasselt) (Hemirhamphidae, Pisces). Trudy Instituta Okeanologii Imeni P.P. Shirshova 73: 185-203 [in Russian] 

Parin, N.V., Collette, B.B. & Shcherbachev, Y.N. 1980. Preliminary review of the marine halfbeaks (Hemiramphidae, Beloniformes) of the tropical Indo-west Pacific. Trudy Instituta Okeanologii. Akademiya Nauk SSSR. Moskva 97: 7-173 figs 1-47 [in Russian, English summary]

Society for Experimental Biology. July 5 2017. A twist in the tail: Flying fish give clues to 'tandem wing' airplane design. https://phys.org/news/2017-07-tail-fish-clues-tandem-wing.html Accessed 4 April 2018.

Struthers, C.D. 2015. Family Hemiramphidae. pp. 965-968 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 3 pp. 577-1152. 

Waite, E.R. 1903. Additions to the fish-fauna of Lord Howe Island. No. 3. Records of the Australian Museum 5(1): 20-45 figs 1-2 pls 3-5 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.5.1903.1027 PDF available, open access (as Euleptorhamphus longirostris)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37234015

Depth:0-5 m


Max Size:53 cm TL

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